vendredi, juillet 21, 2006

At my funeral, there will be a guest list...

Yes, its depressing, surprising and a bit macabre --- but does anyone think about the intricacies of their own funeral? Often, people daydream about the details of life altering events such as weddings, the birth of a child, but funerals??? According to today's New York Times, baby boomers want control over pretty much ever aspect of their lives and well, death, proved to be rather tricky. Enter the funeral planner or concierge. Yes I said it -- funeral planner. There are services that are arising that let you plan down to the detail how you want your funeral to play out from venue, to writing obituaries to food. Mark Duffey, creator of Everest Funeral Package, has assisted hundreds of families with the planning of their last rites.

So I know this is morbid , and trust me, I don't think about my death regularly, in fact I never do. But, I think planning the ins and outs of my funeral (yikes I said it) is something I could see myself doing. I like to be in control. And I want to make a statement in this world so why not make one going out. Here are what some people have planned for their funerals:

  • Estée Lauder had waiters passing out chocolate-covered marshmallows on silver trays
  • Robert Tisch, who ran the Loews Corporation, had a marching band and a full house at Avery Fisher Hall, all coordinated by one of New York’s most prominent party planners
  • Nan Kempner’s memorial was held at Christie’s auction house and guests received a CD of Mozart’s Requiem. Ms. Kempner wanted a live performance of the Requiem, but the logistics — full orchestra, chorus and soloists — were too much.

Writer and entrepreneur Lynn Eisenberg, had a lot of emotions after attending the funerals of both her father and brother. So much so that she wrote a book called The Funeral Planner based on the idea of someone who plans funerals. She has just signed a contract to write two more books on this character and Lifetime TV is developing a sho wbased on her character. She has also created a business entitled Lights Out Enterprises with an emphasis on a "tribute video", that the guests make about themselves and is left to their loved ones when they pass on. The article further stipulates that, "Though most clients want simple services, she said, one asked her for “an all-out disco party on top of their favorite mountain, with 360-degree views,” in order to remind friends of a happy period in their lives together. “And they want everyone to come dressed up in disco outfits.” For a former auctioneer, she recommended printing select words from the eulogy on auction paddles, so people could hold them up during the service".

In the end, the world is your oyster. If you have the means, you can leave this world anyway you want to. Would you want a party or a quiet service? Would you have a guest list? Would the memorial service be held in a church or on the beach? Who knows, this conversation is a bit too morbid for me to continue any further but, in this age with the right amount of cash, you can do and plan for just about anything.

scuttlebutt -- n: 1. A drinking fountain on a ship 2. A cask on a ship that contains the day's supply of drinking water 3. Gossip; rumor.

"Properly, we should read for power. Man reading should be man intensely alive. The book should be a ball of light in one's hand" -- Ezra Pound



Blogger Berry said...

I'll be dead so whoever has the responsibility of "putting me away" will be left with deciding the best way to honor my life. The end. :-)

1:51:00 PM  

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